Do you recognise this city scene from 59 years ago?

Commercial Road looking north from the corner of Church Street in 1953
Commercial Road looking north from the corner of Church Street in 1953

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It’s hard to get your head around this picture, taken on a summer’s morning in 1953.

Of course, older readers will recognise it instantly, but younger ones will struggle. Believe it or not this is Commercial Road, Portsmouth, looking north from the corner of Church Street.

Redevelopment had yet to begin in this section of the city’s main artery and it’s unrecognisable from the view today which incorporates the dual carriageway of Mile End Road and the M275 beyond.

The Savoy Cinema (on the extreme left) on the corner of Fitzherbert Street, went on to become the ABC cinema, while the site of the Country House pub on the right is part of the car park opposite.